November 04, 2004

Notes on the Election of ’04

Some Simmons-style ramblings. Here we go:

- No, I’m not happy with the election, and especially not with the enormity of the Republican gains, especially after we had our hopes up throughout the day. But I am happy that it ended quickly, and in an undisputed, un-recounted fashion.

Now I’m not one of those “how can ANYONE could vote for Bush?” people, yet I do find it astonishing that so many GOP voters put “moral values” (i.e., “stopping gay marriage”) ahead of the war on terror when asked to name their #1 issue. As I would say if I were a Fox News talking head, “how can you care so much about other things- when WE. ARE. AT. WAR!?”

- And no, the “MSM” and Zogby did NOT purposely rig the exit polls to try to carry the day for the Democrats. Zogby, for instance, bases his entire professional standing on whether or not he’s right in predicting the outcome of the election. Why would he blow that just to score partisan points, when he knew he’d be proven wrong a few hours later?

- What can the Democrats do now? No, they can’t “move to the left,” and no, they can’t “move to the center,” because either would cause them to lop off half their constituency, and parties don’t assume power by eliminating constituencies. I suppose the best thing the Dems can hope for is a split/implosion in the GOP. If, say, Roe v. Wade were overturned, I could see a libertarian/evangelical schism destroying the current Republican coalition, with women and moderates scurrying back to the Dems. But that's years in the future...

Either way, I just know it: the Dems WILL rise again, somehow, some way. Somehow I think it’ll involve Barack Obama running for president.

- With the ’08 campaign set to begin in, oh, just a few months, we can already begin speculating about who’ll run. It should be fascinating, as it’s the first election since 1952 in which no incumbent president or vice president will be running. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards are locks to run for the Dems, possibly joined by Howard Dean, and maybe even Al Gore (but probably not). On the GOP side, we’ve got Rudy, McCain, Bill Frist, possibly Jeb Bush, and George Pataki.

At any rate, the prospect of Hillary actually carrying out her sinister evil plot to run for president practically ensures that Dick Morris will never have trouble coming up with a column idea ever again.

- Yes, in retrospect, I suppose nominating Kerry was probably a bad idea. But I'm not sure any of the Dems could've beaten this particular GOTV operation, especially not Howard Dean.

- Current number of Google results for the phrase “Why Kerry Lost”: 116.

- Walking around the Upper West Side on Wednesday was like what walking around Boston must’ve been like the day after the Grady Little/Aaron Boone game.

- Speaking of Boston, Kerry conceded on Wednesday at Faneuil Hall; three days before, I had lunch about 40 feet away from where he was standing. Meanwhile, the Red Sox win the World Series, they make the cover of Time magazine- and then it’s off newsstands after three days, in favor of the post-election “extra” edition.

- Should Terry McAuliffe be fired as DNC chairman? No, he should be taken outside and shot. He did a one-year job for four years, and has done nothing but fail since Day 1.

- Similarly, while it’s sad to see the Dems drop the seat, Tom Daschle may have been the least effective Senate Majority Leader in history.

- So now, for four more years, American politics reverts to a titanic struggle between two forces I don’t particularly like: the Bush-lovers and the Bush-haters. Call it “Bush vs. Anti-Bush”- sort of like "Bears vs. Bulls":

“The senseless waste of pitting these two mighty forces of nature against each other, like matter vs. anti-matter, will be a tragedy, not only for the teams involved.." [ flips card over ] "..but for our planet. All nations must band together, to ensure that such a conflageration never takes place."
- On Election Day, Aaron Gleeman posted a thousands-of-words-long entry on “a national outrage.” It was, of course, a response to Jeter winning the Gold Glove.

- I guess this is the end of that whole Redskins lose/incumbent loses thing, a whole four days after we first heard about it.

- Ed Helms on The Daily Show: “If you want to have gay sex or visit a library, this is probably your last night to do either of those things. I’ll be killing too birds with one stone.”

- Scott Ganz has a brilliant exegesis on where the Dems are at now. I can relate, as someone coming from the same place he is. Best graf:

Similarly, the Big Liberal Tent has too many noxious assholes farting with the flaps down, and the stink is driving people away…Michael Moore is literally a walking big fat irony. His massively deceptive, unappealing operation has somehow managed to take many perfectly defensible, moral positions and contaminate them with his particular flair for dishonesty, paranoia, bile, and smug, superior finger wagging. He needs to be shot into space, just as soon as we can find a rocket big enough.

- Unfortunately, Bush’s re-election all but guarantees that “Fahrenheit 9/11” will win the Oscar for Best Picture. Even though it’s about the 275th best movie that’s come out this year.

- Finally, as you all know thanks to the fine folks at the WSJ, I am keeping the Jarvis pledge:

I promise to... Support the President, even if I didn't vote for him..... Criticize the President, even if I did vote for him..... Uphold standards of civilized discourse in blogs and in media while pushing both to be better.... Unite as a nation, putting country over party, as we work together to make America better.

Posted by Stephen Silver at November 4, 2004 06:27 PM

Most disappointing stat of the election: The youth vote. What the hell happened?

How many votes did it cost Kerry by:
- Outwardly rooting for the sox?
- Being married to the ketchup heiress?
- Having a big head?

My guess...
- 750,000 for the sox
- 1,000,000 for the condiment
- 100,000 for the melon

You gotta appreciate the use of Fanueil hall by the Kerry campaign.

And as far as "sore winers" go, Bush is a jackass for saying "I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it," the day after he said he was going to try and reach across partisan lines. Way to reach out for the 50+ million people who didn't vote for you. Glad that lasted one whole fricking day, President Jackass.

The Jarvis pledge works when the GOP wins, but don't expect it the other way when the DEMs win. If Bush were to take the pledge, he would have his fingers crossed.

Oh, one more thing. Boston rocks!

Posted by: Jeff S at November 4, 2004 11:24 PM

I'm glad I've finally heard a Democrat echo my views about McAuliffe and Daschle. They have no idea how to be successful as a minority party. If you work against the other party and try to stall until you win, a funny thing will happen--you'll lose. I consider myself a moderate Republican and have voted for Democrats plenty of times in the past. Leiberman could have beaten Bush. I know, because I almost certainly would have voted for him. Leiberman was all but excommunicated for not hating every Republican plan ever presented. As soon as McAuliffe is out, the Democrats WILL rise again. They will regain favor in the South and start remembering why they were in power for so many years: because they fought for the middle and lower class. Not because their special interests were more special than the GOP special interests. I don't rue the day Democrats rise again, I anxiously await it. I didn't have a fair choice in this election and by-God I want one next time.

Posted by: Citizen F at November 5, 2004 12:49 PM

Why do 'moral values' translate to 'anti-gay'? Moral values are important to me but I think morality extends to doing what you say you'll do and not ditching Iraq. Gay rights is a regional issue. A Republican in NY will likely be more for gay marriage than a Democrat in Kansas or Georgia or Iowa.

Posted by: Karol at November 6, 2004 03:57 PM
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